Social Enterprise Conference

Social Enterprise Conference Image

HUNDREDS OF people who work in and run social enterprises in Dundee gathered in the city today (THURSDAY) for a one day conference.

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport was among four keynote speakers on the significant contribution of the sector to the economy, well being and environment.

She said: “Dundee is leading the way in Scotland with its strong and vibrant social enterprise sector, particularly in the realm of health and social care.

“The specialist expertise and ability that people in social enterprises and the wider third sector have amassed is a valuable resource in our efforts to engage with vulnerable groups and individuals.

“The Scottish Government recognises the important contribution that this sector makes in creating employment and skills opportunities as well as improving public services and supporting communities.

“For more than a decade we have built a powerful support system for social enterprise in Scotland. In September, we launched a new international strategy for the sector and later this year we will publish a ten-year national strategy to fully capitalise on this dynamic movement for change. ”

Backed by Dundee City Council, Dundee Partnership and the Dundee Social Enterprise Network the conference was chaired by Stewart Murdoch the council’s director of leisure and culture.

Ken Guild leader of Dundee City Council said: “The interest in and the growing number of social enterprises in the city demonstrates how valuable and important this type of enterprise is in Dundee and the country as a whole.

“We in the council have well developed strategies and policies to help social enterprises and good evidence that they are helping to create income, jobs and growth.”

Derek Marshall, Chair of Dundee Social Enterprise Network (DSEN) said: “Our social enterprises provide a wide range of goods and services that tackle social, economic and environmental issues and our work strengthens local communities and helps change lives.

“With the support of the city council, we are confident that we can expand the sector over the next few years and grow more new jobs for Dundee.

“Through our small grants programme, we are able to provide funding to help new social enterprises get started, as well as developing new ideas with existing third sector organisations.”

Delegates at the conference also heard from:

  • Sue John, enterprise development manager, Glasgow Women’s Library;  
  • Professor Cam Donaldson, Yunus chair in social business and health at Glasgow Caledonian University;
  • Josh Littlejohn, Social Bite;
  • Matthew Jackson, deputy chief executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies; and
  • Andrew Cameron, design for business, V&A Museum of Design Dundee.

 As well as speeches delegates also had the opportunity to see for the first time a number of awards presented to social enterprises in categories ranging from best start-up and best innovative idea to best social impact and best environmental impact.

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